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Boku Promotes Barclaycard Vet Stuart Neal to CEO

Boku Promotes Barclaycard Vet Stuart Neal to CEO

Boku promoted longtime executive Stuart Neal to head of the mobile payments company.

Neal has been serving as Boku’s CEO designate since July of last year, when outgoing CEO John Prideaux announced his plans to retire, the London-based company said in a news release Thursday (Jan. 18).

“We’ve secured partnerships with all the major tech players, successfully expanded beyond carrier billing and established ourselves as a global force in local payments, driven initially by eWallets and later by account-to-account payments,” Prideaux said in the release. “It’s the perfect time to pass the baton to someone who can lead the company into its next chapter. Knowing Stuart well, I believe he is the ideal candidate to continue the strategy we have set out.”

Neal served as Boku’s finance chief between 2011 and 2014 and again between 2017 and 2019, helping take the firm public, per the release. He also worked as the chief business officer of the company’s identity division and held leadership roles at Barclaycard, Featurespace, VocaLink, GlaxoSmithKline and Virgin Media.

Boku’s offerings include direct carrier billing, digital wallets and account-to-account connections, the release said. Its customer base includes Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify and Tencent.

“Local payment methods now represent two-thirds of all global online payments — a significant rise from 2010, when they accounted for one-quarter of all online payments,” the release said. “During the first half of 2023, Boku continued to expand its network to over 300 [local payment methods] across 60 countries and saw … over 32 million new consumers making their first purchase with Boku.”

Western eCommerce merchants who expand into new parts of the world are often surprised at how global payment trends differ from what they see at home, PYMNTS reported last year.

“There is a remarkable array of local and alternative payment methods worldwide, each of which is some customers’ favorite,” the report said. “It can be difficult for merchants to provide this variety of payment types independently, but payments orchestration can unlock diverse payment systems.”

“For the U.S. and large parts of Europe, we tend to think of credit cards as the primary method of paying for things, whether that’s in person or online,” Andy McHale, senior director of product at Spreedly, told PYMNTS last year. “But that doesn’t work for every individual, every ecosystem, every region on the planet. You’ve got your digital wallets, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay. You have your bank account and direct debit as well.”